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Steven Tylor Cook (A booking photo attached)
A Tampa man, Steven Tylor Cook, was arrested July 30
, 2019 for human trafficking related charges.
The investigation started in May 2019
. Detectives began conducting undercover operations at several Hillsborough County motels. The purpose of the operation was to locate and identify individuals who were actively involved with human trafficking and were advertising via the internet on adult escort websites.
On May 17
, 2019, Cook was arrested after he dropped two women off at a motel. Those women were arrested for prostitution as part of the above mentioned operation. Detectives say Cook had knowledge the women were being dropped off for prostitution and even sent them messages to make sure the money they received was not counterfeit. At that time, Cook was arrested for Possession of Ten or More Counterfeit Bills, Transporting for Prostitution, Driving with License Suspended, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Cook is also a
certified member of the Latin Kings gang.
Detectives continued their investigation into the prostitution ring, and discovered a victim of human trafficking. Cook is believed to be the individual responsible for utilizing coercion to manipulate the victim to perform commercial sexual activity.
He was arrested this morning
and charged with Coerce for Commercial Sex Act by Human Trafficking and Deriving Support from Proceeds of Prostitution. "Human trafficking is modern slavery. It is something that I as your Sheriff, and us as a community, cannot stand for," said Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister. "I am proud that our detectives didn't stop at the arrest made back in May. They knew there was more to the crimes and worked until they uncovered what was really happening. Because of that the victim is now safe
and future human trafficking at the hands of this suspect has been stopped."
Any other individuals who believe they may be a victim of Cook, please call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 813-247-8200.